Concept Korea returns to NYFW to showcase some of South Korea’s most talented visionaries. Jae Hyuk Lim and Bona Kim of BESFXXK, A-Young Kim of CAHIERS, and Seong Dong Lee of ul:kin debut their Spring/Summer 2023 collections in a brilliant lineup of looks illustrating a wide range of creativity and unique approaches to design.
BESFXXK’s core design ethos is displayed in full force with its signature methods of experimentation. Adhering to the brand’s name (bespoke + fucked up), the collection plays with the deconstruction and reconstruction of tailored silhouettes. Breaking down classics like the trench coat and smoking blazer, Jae Hyuk Lim and Bona Kim rebuild the pieces with modern details that juxtapose style with functionality. Ingenious combinations between forms and materials warp history and designs – a cocktail dress incorporating technical fabric, a Victorian style windbreaker, a blazer featuring unexpected materials – reinventing traditional shapes with a modern touch.
CAHIERS’ SS23 collection invites the audience to Toledo, the old capital of Spain – a city frozen in medieval Europe. The ancient city’s unique history of representation across religions is expressed through the culture and architecture. Capturing the beauty of coexistence, the flowing lines and mixed textures are reminiscent of the architecture with an amalgamation of sublime arabesque patterns found in Islamic representations and symmetry from Romanesque gothic spires and splendid stained glass. Designed for the multi-faceted woman, each garment seamlessly unifies the inspirations.
ul:kin’s Seong Dong Lee proves yet again to be prolific in his vision, translating social issues into the language of fashion. Audacious and daring, the collection is inspired by magnet fishing – the act of using magnets as bait to fish for metal objects submerged in water. Both a symbol of stimulating curiosity and the physical activity of removing garbage that corrodes and pollutes water quality, the theme looks at the adage of giving a man a fish versus teaching him to fish. Lee asks what we should be teaching the next generation. His answer remains consistent throug
h his distinctive use of upcycling, incorporating abandoned fishing tools and gear, introducing details like mesh and multi-pockets.
Designers Jae Hyuk Lim and Bona Kim studied at the prestigious Royal College of Arts in London and London College of Fashion respectively, then launching BESFXXK in 2017.
As an experimental fashion bouse, BESFXXK takes a surgical approach to design and product development. The technique involves physically combining separate pieces with different backgrounds and histories. Reinterpreting the symbols from both street style and luxury, the creative process involves re-examining the standards defining current trends and the past – the outcome is always unexpectedly novel and wearable.